Eyre Highway

Eyre Highway: 146.6km (91.1 mi) without any turn

Eyre Highway is an asphalted highway in Australia linking Western Australia and South Australia via the Nullarbor Plain. It's 1.675 km (1,041 mi) long and includes what is said to be the longest straight stretch of road in the country: 146.6 kilometres (91.1 mi) without any turn. For much of its length, it can be described as a long and lonely road. It’s one of the Australian longest roads.

This lonely road starts at Norseman, a town located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia and ends in Port Augusta, the seventh most populous city in South Australia. The highway was opened in 1941 and includes one of the longest straight stretch of road in the world: 146.6 kilometres (91.1 mi) without any turn, between the small roadhouse communities of Balladonia and Caiguna. 

When was the Eyre Highway sealed?

The Eyre Highway is a long and lonely road. While in the East you can find some towns, the western part is almost devoid of life. Because of its loneliness, some sections of the road work as emergency airstrips for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to ensure the safety of travelling vehicles. These airstrips are signposted, have runway "piano keys" painted on the road, and turnaround bays for small aircraft. The trip can be done in a conventional vehicle, and services are spaced such that you should not need to carry fuel. Not all service stations are open 24-hours, so if you are not travelling daylight hours then you will need to plan accordingly. The Eyre Highway is one of Australia’s epic self-drive adventures. The highway was constructed between July 1941 and June 1942. At first it was little more than a rough track, but was gradually sealed over the next thirty years. The last unsealed section of the Eyre Highway was finally sealed in 1976.

The loneliness, remoteness and driver fatigue cause a high incidence of fatalities and accidents. To avoid it, some locations have started a program to give free coffee to encourage drivers to take a break or rest on long journeys. At the same time, several signals across the road ask the drivers to take a break driving. There are no sheer cliff-sides to contend with, nor are there hairpin turns along this road. In other words, it’s rather plain and boring, a sort of long and lonely road in the middle of nowhere -that is, until you take into consideration how many wild animals exists in southern Australia. The wildlife in the region, which includes kangaroos, emus, and camels, is known to do serious damage to cars. Dawn and dusk are the most dangerous times to drive on the Eyre Highway, as animals are frequently trying to cross the road. Nevertheless, even if you don’t have to navigate around an oncoming kangaroo, the highway’s loneliness and remoteness is known to cause driver fatigue, which in turn leads to a higher chance of accidents and fatalities.

 

NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.